Olaparib May Be Effective for Advanced Cancers Associated with BRCA Mutations

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According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, a team led by researchers at the Abramson Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have found that olaparib, a novel poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, may be effective for the treatment of numerous advanced cancers caused by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.

For the international, multicenter, phase 2 study, researchers studied olaparib in nearly 300 patients with advanced ovarian, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancers that were associated with BRCA1 and BRCA genetic mutations. For most patients, the PARP inhibitor was their third-line of treatment for their cancer.

Results showed a 26% overall tumor response rate among all patients. After discontinuation of olaparib, 42% of patients experienced no further tumor growth for at at least 8 weeks. For those with ovarian cancer, the overall survival rate at 1 year was 64% with a median progression-free survival of 7 months.

Patients with breast cancer had on overall survival rate of 45% and a median progression-free survival of about 4 months. Among those with pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer, overall survival was 41% and 50%, respectively, and progression-free survival was 5 and 7 months, respectively. Researchers hope to initiate a phase 3 trial to investigate olaparib further in patients with advanced cancers with BRCA mutations.

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Olaparib may be effective for the treatment of numerous advanced cancers.

Olaparib, an experimental twice-daily oral cancer drug, produces an overall tumor response rate of 26 percent in several advanced cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, according to new research co-led by the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The positive response provides new hope for patients with ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancers whose conditions have not responded to standard therapies.

Results of the phase II study are available online in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology. For the majority of patients in the study, olaparib was at least their third different cancer therapy. Based on the new data, the authors say olaparib warrants further investigation in phase III trials.


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